Today’s post is written by Edie Lazenby. Edie teaches Beginner Flow at extendYoga on Saturday’s, and this weekend (August 12th) has her second Family Yoga workshop at 3:30 at extendYoga. The cost is $15 per child (adults are free) – There are a few spots left – you can sign up here.
Family Yoga? Why do I love teaching this? Because you see how people can connect and have fun exploring themselves and one another in a safe non-challenging environment. There is no right way or wrong way. Of course for the little ones skills like listening and following directions are employed. But who would not listen when asked to paddle through the ocean on a surfboard or roar as loud as a Mommy lion protecting her cubs?
We play games. We have fun. We share.
Partner poses give the adults and the children a chance to be together and help each other do the pose. Partners have to communicate openly and willingly to make sure what the other is doing is supportive. Siblings too have the opportunity to play together here, the older one’s taking a leadership role and sometimes children will do poses with children they’ve never met before, which takes some courage when you’re an adult, much less when just a young one.
Family yoga builds harmony. Family yoga gives everyone quality time. The parent’s don’t have to be in charge. The children don’t have to challenge anyone. The goal is for all to have fun. Many times the yoga is new to the children or the adults. Or, the adults do yoga and the children have an opportunity to do what they see their parent’s do with them.
Is it Asana-based? No…not when the children are younger. It is based on fun. We play games. We breathe. We Aum. We might play a game of hot potato or make a portrait with the students with the poses to tell a story. When I have had a class with four year olds and 12 year olds it is amazing how the older children participate, have fun and enjoy sharing with the younger students.
Yoga is about connection and how we engage. Families are already connected and engagement is the name of the game. Family yoga just makes sense because all the ingredients of yoga are already there. We just add awareness and fun.
Edith Lazenby is a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC, and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has been writing poetry since she was nine years old. Poetry is her first love and yoga continues to feed her heart. She writes because she loves it. She teaches because she loves it. She tells her students all the time: do it because you can. That works for her. She believes in creating opportunity. She believes in helping herself and others. She thinks faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. She believes the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help her celebrate.
See you on the mat!